Derrick Rose has always let his play set the tone for the Chicago Bulls, but as the newly-turned 24-year-old star matures in his game, he will learn to become a more vocal leader, Phil Jackson said Friday.
"You see him do his leading mostly by his athletic prowess and his spirit that he plays the game with, his undaunting spirit," Jackson said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "But as he grows older he will become more of a vocal leader, and I think that's an important aspect for a guy who wants to lead his team into the NBA championship level. And that's the direction they're headed now."
Rose, who turned 24 on Thursday, first has to work his way back from a torn ACL suffered in the first round of the playoffs last season. Bulls general manager Gar Forman told "Waddle & Silvy" on Thursday that he is optimistic Rose will play this season, and the former MVP said on Monday that he hopes to start making cuts in two weeks.
Jackson believes Rose might need a full year to come back from the injury which has been described as needing 8-12 months for recovery.
"I know it's going to take awhile for that," Jackson said. "That's such a critical injury for a player, especially one that had such great ability to stop and start and change directions. But there's a period of time that everybody has got to give him. A year is sometimes the outer limits of that injury before one recovers and a year would put them back in the month of May. Hopefully he can speed that up a little bit and get back in the middle of this season and contribute to the Bulls."
The Bulls face the challenge of playing without Rose for much of the season, but Jackson said they will be able to manage without him.
"The team is going to be fine," he said. "They are going to struggle a little bit to score, they are going to have the problems that go along with missing that player that can be a breakdown or critical scoring guard. But they did very well without him during the season, and the backup guys I thought held their own ... They got a lot of distance out of the guys who filled in for Derrick. It's going to be a struggle, it won't be as easy, but if they can get all that group together by the playoffs they'll perform well."